|Born:||May 10, 1983|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Norman (Norman, Oklahoma)|
|As a player:|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|As a coach:|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||6–25–1 (.203)|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Zac Taylor (born May 10, 1983) is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 2017 to 2018 and Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2015.
From 2005 to 2006, Taylor played college football and was the starting quarterback at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Despite Taylor's record-setting career at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, few colleges recruited him. Even his hometown school, the Oklahoma Sooners, passed him over. In 2002, he signed with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, where he redshirted his first year and filled in as a backup position the next, completing the only pass he attempted in those 2 years. From there he transferred to Butler Community College in Kansas, where he had a breakout season, leading Butler to the NJCAA championship game and earning second-team NJCAA All-American honors.
After his 2004 season Taylor looked at multiple NCAA Division I schools, including Memphis, Marshall and Nebraska. Nebraska had abandoned their long standing running/option offense for an entirely new, West Coast offense led by newly appointed coach Bill Callahan. The Huskers had a rebuilding season in 2004, going 5–6 and missing a bowl bid for the first time since 1968. His recruitment late in the 2004–05 off-season by the Huskers was described as a "lucky break" due to the Huskers' lack of quarterbacks at the time.
Taylor had a rough start, statistically speaking, in his 2005 year at Nebraska, completing 39 of 89 passes for 399 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in his first three games. In his fourth game however, Taylor had a breakout day against Iowa State, throwing for a school record 431 yards on 36 of 55 passing with two touchdowns. The 36 completions was also a school record at the time.He steadily improved throughout the season, ending in a 30–3 win against Colorado where he threw 392 yards, and a come-from-behind 32–28 win against the Michigan Wolverines in the Alamo Bowl, where he threw a Nebraska bowl record 3 touchdown passes. Taylor broke the school record for passing yards in a season with 2,653 yards on 55.1% of his passes being complete.
In his 2006 opener against Louisiana Tech, Taylor showed significant improvement over his season-opener the previous year, completing 22 of 33 attempts for 287 yards with 3 touchdowns and one interception.The game after, against Nicholls State, Taylor once again showed his precision in passing the ball, finishing 19 of 23 for 202 yards and a new career-best in 4 touchdown passes.
Taylor led the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a record of 9–3 with an appearance in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game, facing off against the Oklahoma Sooners. Taylor passed for 2,789 yards and 24 touchdown passes during the regular season and earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
|Collegiate Career statistics|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons|
|NCAA Career Totals||29||26||17–9||470||821||5,850||57.2||45||20||130.3||139||-64||-0.46||2|
Taylor went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was cut in the preseason.Taylor then went to Canada and joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as their 4th string quarterback for a single season in the CFL, but did not play in a game and did not return for the 2008 season, instead beginning his transition into coaching. The Blue Bombers played in the 95th Grey Cup (the CFL Championship game) on November 25, 2007 but did not win.
On January 30, 2012, Taylor was named assistant quarterbacks coach for the NFL's Miami Dolphins. He was previously an assistant coach at Texas A&M, serving under former head coach Mike Sherman, his father-in-law.On November 30, 2015, he was promoted to the team's interim offensive coordinator, after the firing of the previous offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor. During the five games Taylor served as OC, the Dolphins went 2-3 and averaged 17 points per game, a slight regress from their per-game average under Lazor, though Interim Coach Dan Campbell still had positive things to say of Taylor's performance.
In January 2016, Taylor was hired by University of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville to be the Bearcats' offensive coordinator. According to Taylor, Jim Turner, who had been an offensive line coach for the Dolphins, was the one who connected him with Tuberville.Taylor was seen as a "rising star in the coaching ranks" by the Bearcats, thanks to his experience in the NFL and his job developing Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Under Taylor's mentoring Tannehill became only the second Miami QB with multiple 3,000-yard seasons, as well as totaling the third-most passing yards for a QB in his first four seasons in NFL history, with 15,460.
In 2017, Taylor was hired by the Los Angeles Rams as assistant wide receivers coach. In 2018, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach.
On February 4, 2019, Taylor was hired as head coach by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Taylor lost in his coaching debut to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 21-20. Taylor and the Bengals would go on to lose their next ten games, posting an 0-11 record, the worst start to a season in franchise history.Starting quarterback Andy Dalton was benched ahead of a week ten matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on November 10, 2019. Rookie Ryan Finley would start the next three weeks, but after being ineffective, Dalton was renamed the starter before the week 13 game against the New York Jets.
With Dalton back under center, Taylor recorded his first win as the Bengals coach in the aforementioned Week 13, beating the Jets 22-6, in turn also snapping a franchise-record thirteen-game losing streak dating back to the previous season.The following week, the Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns in Taylor's first head-to-head matchup against the division rivals by a score of 27-19. After a Week 16, 38-35 loss to the Miami Dolphins in overtime, the 1-14 Bengals secured the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Taylor and the Bengals managed to finish the season 2-14 following a 33-23 win over the Browns in Week 17, matching a franchise-worst record set previously in 2002.
Taylor went into the 2020 season with first-overall pick Joe Burrow as the team's starting quarterback. It was also the first time since 2010 the Bengals season began and Andy Dalton wasn't on the roster, having been signed by the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason. On September 13, 2020, the Bengals lost their first game of the season to the Los Angeles Chargers by a score of 16-13.Taylor and the Bengals saw their first win of the season in a week four 33-25 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A subsequent week five loss to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 27-3 dropped Taylor's road record with the Bengals to 0-11-1. During week seven, Taylor and the Bengals had a 34-31 lead against the Cleveland Browns with one minute left, but lost by a score of 37-34 following a touchdown drive by the Browns. It was the fifth time this season the Bengals lost a game despite having a lead during the fourth quarter. The following week, however, the Bengals pulled off a major upset win against the Tennessee Titans by a score of 31-20.
During a Week 11 game against the Washington Football Team, Burrow suffered a season-ending leg injury. With Finley playing the rest of the game, Taylor and the Bengals went on to lose 20-9.The Bengals' next win would be a Week 15 Monday Night Football matchup against the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers. With Finley at quarterback, the Bengals went on to defeat the Steelers 27-17. It was also Finley's first start of the season after Brandon Allen was elevated from the practice squad to be the starter following Burrow's injury. The Bengals went on to win the following week against the Houston Texans by a score of 37-31 with Allen as quarterback. It was the first road win of Taylor's tenure with the Bengals (the team's first since 2018) and also the first two-game win-streak of Taylor's head coaching career. The Bengals finished with a 4–11–1 record, marking the third straight season the Bengals have finished 4th in the AFC North, the second under Taylor. The following day, Bengals owner Mike Brown confirmed Taylor would return as head coach for the 2021 season.
|Year||Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CIN||2019||2||14||0||.125||4th in AFC North||—||—||—||—|
|CIN||2020||4||11||1||.281||4th in AFC North||—||—||—||—|
Taylor is married to Sarah Sherman, daughter of former Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike Sherman,and they have four children together.
His sister, Kathryn, is a Special Olympics swimmer. His youngest sister Quincy resides in Oklahoma City.Taylor's younger brother, Press Taylor, is a senior offensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts and played quarterback at Marshall University. Taylor's father, Sherwood, was a defensive back and captain for Oklahoma and head coach Barry Switzer from 1976–1979.
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